***Mr. David***

Aaaah, I see, so this is how it's gonna work: Musicians from beloved bands of our pasts will slowly take over the kindierock world, until children's music becomes the only current genre that anyone actually listens to or pays for... Ya see, Chris Molla, former member of Camper Van Beethoven, has already released a couple of CDs for kids (Roll Along: Fingerpaint, 1999; Jump Up: Fingerpaint, 2004), and now his CVB bandmate Greg Lisher is a contributing guitarist on Mr. David's latest masterpiece, Jump In the Jumpy House.

On this eagerly awaited follow up to 2006's The Great Adventures of Mr. David, David Alexandrou channels the Velvet Underground for the roaring title tune, appropriates the sound of Desire-era Dylan on "The Stars are Grains of Sugar", takes us back to the Kinks' late-60s pastoral rock with "She's a Good Dog", and turns in a pretty damn good tribute to Johnny Cash with "Them Devils". And when the first song on the album fades out with "John Paul George and Ringo" being chanted over and over again, you know you're in for a funky, funny, far out musical trip.

If you're going to pull a song off this album as a single, "Hey! It's Lunchtime!" would be it. Bubbly, infectious, and silly, it'll make a great live tune, as will "The Stars are Grains of Sugar", its speed up/shakin' ... slow down/floating sections guaranteeing audience participation. And "Miss Pila" may sound at first to be a simple, Ranchero-influenced ditty about food, but listen more closely; dig the chord changes and countermelody!

Jump in the Jumpy House was produced and mixed incredibly well (just check out the bass guitar throughout the CD!) by contributing multi-instrumentalist Rich Ajlouny, giving the songs a very rich, deep, analog sound. And if you wanted to get old school, you could divide the album into sides: Loud & Silly ("Crocodiles are Hungry" through "She's a Good Dog", and Quiet & Introspective ("Ragtime Honey" through "Cabin Blues"), with "Exit Zoo" acting as a "Crocodiles" reprise. Plus, Tawnya Lancaster and Alexandrou designed and illustrated a wonderful CD package, full of playful drawings and song lyrics.

Another awesome CD from a kids' performer who's not afraid to stretch out in the words and music departments, and one can only imagine what's in the future for this guy if his albums keep getting this much better every time out. John, Paul, George, and Ringo would be proud.

Sincerely yours,

I love the sincerity of children. They are sincerely honest, sincerely inquisitive, sincerely playful, and sincerely friendly. I was reminded of this fact yet again this week. I have a child in an Imagine That! class that requires the use of braces and a walker to walk. Most of the children had not seen either of these devices before and were quite curious. It was interesting to watch them and listen to their questions. As adults, we are often too embarrassed to ask questions, so we politely look in another direction to avoid the "white elephant" in the room. We miss so much that way. After their questions were answered, we proceeded on with class. Even though we are just beginning our second week of the semester, many of the children are already forming friendships. They enjoy holding hands in small groups for our circle dances and movement activities. As we began one of these activities, I noticed that one little boy had separated of to walk with this child. They couldn't hold hands, since she needed to hold on to the walker. Instead, he walked slowly behind or beside her walker during class. He held the walker with her so that they could be together. It's one of those moments that is a special privilege to observe; the birth of a true friendship, and I couldn't resist sharing it with you.

Girl power!

I just became a member on Mamasource. It's a great website for mothers to connect, encourage and learn from each other. It also has some great listings of local businesses with reviews from moms in that community. I've really enjoyed the resource and thought I would pass along the information.

Thanks Diane for telling me about this!

Thought for the day

It costs you nothing to dream, but accomplishing those dreams is another story!

A tale of two sandwiches

Well, today was the start of school and the fall Kindermusik semester. I love the start of the semester; new friends, old friends, shiny new materials to hand out to happy little children. What a great time we had, but at the same time I was torn. This fall holds a lot of change for me. Some of you know that my youngest child began Kindergarten this year. She has been with me at Kindermusik since I began teaching almost 5 years ago. We have made some wonderful memories during that time. Throughout that time, I have always carried lunch for two to class. It's been a special time for us to share and bond, since we didn't have that one-on -one when she was a baby. As I zipped up the baggy with my lonely little sandwich last night, I was struck with the sad realization. No more lunch dates with my baby girl! No more two sandwiches in the box waiting for our happy afternoon chats. Don't get me wrong. I am very proud of her and excited for all the new memories she will make at school. It will just take some getting used to. So to all those mothers of new Kindergartners out there, I raise my chocolate this afternoon in salute to you. ;-D

Believe in Music

Congratulations to Diane, a mother of two of my Kindermusik students! She recently had the opportunity to record her "I believe in music" essay for Kindermusik International, as part of their "Believe in Music" convention in October. You can listen to her essay here. You can also hear other essays or submit your own. I look forward to hearing why you believe in music!

Book of the month

We loved this book at our house. It is a clever and imaginative story about the first night on the job for a new tooth fairy. It would be a great read for preschool age and up.

Gustafer Yellowgold live at Donnell !!!

Morgan Taylor brought the glorious story of Gustafer Yellowgold to the Donnell Central Children's Room this afternoon, with help from his wife, Rachel Loshak. Morgan thoroughly entertained the kids and their grownups with his multimedia presentation, and had 'em swayin' from the beginning of "I'm From the Sun" to the end of "New Blue Star". A highlight was seeing and hearing "The Mustard Slugs", a song from the upcoming second volume of Gustafer's adventures. This song, I swear, was somehow left off one of those Schoolhouse Rock albums and mystically channelled into Morgan's brain: It's the funniest song about math you'll ever see/hear.

I'm tellin' ya, go see Morgan live. These pictures just don't do him justice.

Pickin' in the Park

Well, I'm pleased to say that our vacation is going imminently better than the "umbrella over the fire" incident of last weekend! We made it to the mountains of North Carolina and have really enjoyed relaxing in our house by the river. Friday night, we went into Canton, a small town near our house. Local musicians gather at the county park there on Friday nights and play folk/blue grass music together during the summer months. There is a stage area and clogging teams perform to some of the live music. Under other pavilions around the park, groups of locals gather and have impromptu jam sessions of their own. One man even had an old-time bass made out of a washtub, tree limb, and string. It reminded me of the old barn dances that you used to read about. Everyone getting together to just "visit a spell" and enjoy some great music. If you ever find yourself in Canton, North Carolina on a Friday night, stop by and be sure to bring your dancing shoes!

Demo Days

During the week of August 20, I will be participating in Demo Days, a week during which more than 5,000 licensed Kindermusik educators will conduct free class demonstrations for families around the world. It will be a great opportunity for you to experience the magic of Kindermusik and to see for yourself why, according to a Harris Interactive Study in November 2005, 99% of parents would recommend the program to other parents. If you have already registered for the fall semester, I would love for you to take this opportunity to invite a friend. Their will be demonstration opportunities for all class ages. Spaces are limited so please contact me directly to register for the preview classes. My phone number is (813) 503-6976, or you can email me at Aimee@delightfulsounds.com. I look forward to seeing you there!